Prod'n venture for Bergstein
David Bergstein’s media holding company Capco has announced a three-year production-financing joint venture with Vincent Newman Entertainment.The new entity, LiveHeart, will operate with a $270 million revolving production fund made up of a combination of equity and credit provided through Capco. The venture comes on the heels of Capco’s purchase of five-year-old indie distributor ThinkFilm last week. And earlier this year, Bergstein and construction business mogul Ron Tutor acquired Capitol Films, a U.K.-based sales and production outfit. Plans call for LiveHeart to produce and finance, either partially or entirely, three to five films a year with a general focus on those with budgets under $30 million or greater than $75 million. “It makes the most sense to be either in niche films with crossover potential or in event-sized films,” Newman told Daily Variety. “What I call ‘tweener’ films between $30 million and $75 million are the tough ones in the current market.” Slate will consist of features developed and packaged by LiveHeart as well as those brought in by third parties, including studios seeking a partner at all budget levels. The LiveHeart venture is part of Bergstein’s already-announced plans to turn Capco into a worldwide distributor. Los Angeles-based Newman will run LiveHeart with his current staff and with autonomy from Capco. He’s planning on additional creative hires coming in the exec ranks. Capitol Films will handle worldwide sales and Capco will provide initial business affairs support for production. “We think this is a great mechanism for putting together commercial movies — a good blend between production financing capacity, creative oversight along with sales and distribution,” Newman added. Still to be decided is whether projects developed by Newman’s shingle may come into LiveHeart. Newman’s partnered with Legendary Pictures in producing a live-action version of “Paradise Lost” with Scott Derrickson directing (Daily Variety, April 20). The LiveHeart venture began coming together following the Cannes Film Festival. Deal was brokered by Endeaver Independent.